Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Review
By Monica Bair |
Historically-speaking, licensed movie to videogame translations haven't fared well. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is no different.
Following the rough storyline of the Michael Bay sequel, the game is a third-person shooter where you can play as either the Autobots or Decepticons as you work to find out what The Fallen is and deal with it according to your alignment. While that setup, and the fact that it's based on both a great '80s license and a Michael Bay film (which means there's going to be a ton of action), meant that there was a good bit of potential, it falls flat on pretty much every level. The Fallen indeed.
Let's start with the gameplay. As I mentioned, Revenge of the Fallen is a third-person action game where you can transform between your vehicle and robot forms. Your first sign that something is a little screwy comes when you're taught the controls. Instead of tapping a button to toggle between your two forms, you have to hold the fire button, which is not only both the fire and transform button, but also what you use to accelerate.
Click the image to check out our full video review.Once you transform into your vehicle mode, you have to keep holding down the standard fire button. In order to let up off the accelerator, you need to let up off the trigger a bit (if you're playing with a controller with analog buttons). This is fine except that you can't not accelerate while in your vehicle form. Also, your firing button then changes to your melee attack button, despite the fact that you're firing guns or whatever.
There are a number of moves you can do while shape-changing. If you hold the fire button to transform, and then hold the jump button, and then release the transformation button, you'll jump as you transform. If you hold the melee attack button instead, you'll do a ground stomp. Why couldn't you just press and hold the attack button while in the air to do this? As it is, you can't do these things unless you're coming out of a transformation. I suppose this sort of thing doesn't break the game, but in the scheme of things, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
While you can perform melee attacks, they're essentially worthless because as soon as you start wailing on something, it'll transform and drive away, which means you'll be lucky if you get two weak hits in before you have to revert back to your weapons anyway.
Speaking of the AI, it'll do some pretty stupid things. If there's a large building nearby, it may choose to climb up the side of it. This is fine except that it can't attack or defend while climbing, so you can just take cheap shots at its back while it scales the building, regardless of how long it takes to get to the top. The AI never, in the entire time with the game, dislodged from a building in order to protect itself. It would just keep climbing, and often either be dead or extremely wounded by the time it would get to the top.
The AI also has a tendency to just stand still on top of a building while it's trying to fight you from a distance. You can just stand there and easily fire at its head or jump up and down while firing homing missiles to take it down. Fun.
At least the multiplayer can be fun.Now, all of this isn't to mean that the game is entirely full of problems in terms of combat. It can, at times, be fun to roll into an opening and have to deal with an assortment of enemy troops coming your way, and as each of the Transformers has different weapons and abilities, the way that you use them from mission-to-mission does change a little bit.
However, what fun there was that could be had with relation to these things is lost as the missions themselves can get pretty repetitive. Most of them just has you enter an area and kill everyone. Perhaps at some point you'll have to pick up a character and take them to a drop-off spot or defend a building they're in, but the bulk of the game boils down to little more than killing everything on your RADAR. Folks who just want to blow stuff up may find this to be acceptable to a small degree, but in this day and age, there should be more to the whole thing.